Restless again. My band stops playing and a smattering of applause fills the void of sound as the barkeep kicks on the punk jukebox. Love Comes in Spurts pipes through the shitty speakers as Richard Hell's whiney voice affirms the nihilistic undertones of modern living. I look down at my sweat-stained shirt and a tiny button of Hell's vacant stare pinned above my left breast pocket catches my eye. For a second, its blank straight-mouthed expression curls into a shit eating grin and he whispers up at me, "I know punk sounds better through the filter of a canned, thought-out and planned recording" as I rub my eyes, pick up my amplifier and carry it hastily out the back door.
Fresh air stings my lungs, billowing smoke escaping through the closing door behind me. I drop my keys, set the amp down on the pavement and pick them up. After throwing the amp in the back seat of my car, I reluctantly re-enter the bar from the back to finish cleaning up.
Unexpectedly, the door leads directly into my parents' house three towns over. The sun burns through the large windows as my hands begin to shake uncontrollably. I must have really shaken something up in my head last night with that show, I tell myself in a panic. I can hear my parents arguing in the next room:
"Why can't you use your gift of music to serve the Lord?"